I am traveling to Nicaragua in October for 5 months to support the work of a women’s based solar energy collective, Las Mujeres Solares. I will be leading a 2 week natural building workshop in Jan 2012 to build a classroom at the Solar Center. I am also working to help them send 2 representatives (I may be one of them) to Argentina in 2012 for a 2 week training that will continue as a year-long initiative in natural building. It is called the Women of the Americas Sustainability Initiative and is being developed by Kleiwerks International.
The area where I’m traveling, near the Honduras border, was devastated during the Sandinista-Contra War. Las Mujeres Solares’ parent organization, Grupo Fenix, received a grant to reintegrate landmine victims into society by teaching them how to build solar panels. A large focus of the ‘Solar Women’ has been to improve the lives of women in rural Nicaragua by introducing solar cookers. They built the Solar Center and Restaurant to sell the cookers and showcase their solar cooked foods and solar roasted coffee. They also built a composting toilet, installed a solar water pump, and replanted more than 14,000 native trees in the community. The country has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world and respiratory disease is the leading cause of death for women. This simple technology is profoundly life changing for them.
I hope you are beginning to understand how I might be incredibly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to work with this group and support them in bringing natural building to their community in a more complete way and as another possible income for their community. They are well positioned for teaching workshops and already have built their restaurant out of adobe bricks they made themselves!
How can you help?
Financial support for the materials is welcome. Even a small amount will make a difference, really. The average labor wage here is around $.50 an hour. Liz Johndrow, P.O. Box 813 Putney, VT 05346. (Please let me know if you send a check). For tax deductible donations send checks to Skyheat Associates c/o Richard Komp,P.O. Box 184, Harrington, ME 04643 and memo as GF-Solar Mtn building project.
You can check out grupofenix.org to learn more about this organization and Las Mujeres Solares and I will continue to update this blog.
Thank you so much for all your love and support in this endeavor and adventure,